Remediation Sites Status

Current Status of Environmental Remediation Sites

The good news is most have been remediated and are now being monitored to assure the remediation work has been successfully completed

Area of Concern

OMC Plant and adjacent sites

The following status summary is provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund website (See the complete EPA summary)

History: The Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) site is located in the northern section of Waukegan Harbor in Waukegan, Illinois. The 100-acre area along the shore of Lake Michigan is the former location of an outboard-boat-motor manufacturing plant and a former railroad tie, coal gasification and coke plant facility. Contaminants of concern include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which OMC used in hydraulic fluids at its boat motor manufacturing plant, and trichloroethene (TCE), a chlorinated solvent that OMC used to degrease newly made parts. Following immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, the site’s long-term cleanup is ongoing.

Status: EPA divided the site into four areas for cleanup. The status of each area is discussed below.

Waukegan Harbor: OMC, under EPA oversight, first cleaned up Waukegan Harbor in 1992 by dredging PCB-contaminated sediment. To fully clean up the harbor, from 2012-2013 EPA hydraulically dredged harbor sediment with residual PCB contamination and consolidated it on site. During 2014, the dredging-related equipment was removed and the consolidation facility was capped. The State of Illinois will continue to monitor PCB levels in harbor fish annually. (Also see Harbor History)

Former Waukegan Manufactured Gas and Coke Plant (WCP): Soil cleanup began in November 2004 and finished in November 2005. Thousands of tons of contaminated soil were dug up and removed. Once cleanup levels were met, excavated areas were backfilled with clean material, and a clean top soil layer placed over the site. The City of Waukegan owns and maintains the property. Groundwater cleanup consists of two phases, one active and one passive. The active phase began in the fall of 2008 with construction of a groundwater treatment plant. Treatment took place in innovative aerobic (oxygen-loving) bacterial reactors in which the organic chemical contaminants served as food for the bacteria. “Digested” water was then filtered and pumped back into the ground. Active groundwater cleanup finished in September 2011. All machinery has since been dismantled. The passive phase began in early 2012. This phase includes monitoring remaining residual groundwater contamination until cleanup goals are met. In 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed clean sediment dredged from the outer section of Waukegan Harbor onto the Waukegan Coke Plant site under an agreement between EPA, Illinois EPA, and the City of Waukegan. The sediment will be part of a city-planned 3 foot-thick clean soil barrier to permit residential development of the property.

PCB Containment Cells: Three PCB containment cells were put in and filled in 1992. The City of Waukegan, under EPA oversight, is in charge of their operation and maintenance. Since 2005, the city has maintained surface covers on the containment cells, conducted routine inspections and operated groundwater pumps to remove and treat water from inside the cells. To date, monitoring shows that the cells are robust and no leaks have occurred. In 2014-15, a new containment cell was completed to encapsulate very contaminated soil discovered in the southwestern portion of the site.

OMC Plant 2: EPA received funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in June 2009 to begin cleanup work on the PCB-contaminated Plant 2 building. Demolition work on the 600,000-square-foot building began in January 2010 and finished in July 2010. About 5,000 tons of steel were recovered, most of which was recycled locally. In 2010, EPA also began digging up and removing contaminated soil and sediment for off-site disposal. Excavation and off-site disposal of over 350,000 cubic yards of soil and sediment was substantially completed in 2015. A groundwater plume highly contaminated with site-related solvents (referred to as dense non-aqueous phase liquids, or DNAPLs) was treated in 2011 with bentonite clay and zero-valent iron to break down the contaminants. Other lower concentration contaminated groundwater plumes were treated in 2014 by injecting the groundwater with an oxidizer (sodium permanganate) to break down the solvents.  To address groundwater contamination near the property’s south boundary, an air sparging system was installed in September 2011. Groundwater treatment is nearing completion and will be followed by monitoring remaining residual groundwater contamination until cleanup goals are met.

View Site on EPA Map

North Shore Gas South Plant

The following status summary is provided by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund website (See the complete EPA summary)

History: The North Shore Gas (NSG) South Plant former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site is located on Pershing Road in an industrial / commercial area of Waukegan, Illinois. The site, which covers over 20 acres, includes the 1.9-acre former MGP facility along Pershing Road and adjacent areas where MGP residuals have been found. They include:

  • Waukegan Port District (WPD) – located east of the former MGP. This area includes a marina, a visitor center / administration building, a maintenance building, and parking lots.  It is 13.1 acres and is adjacent to Lake Michigan.
  • Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings, Inc. (Akzo) – located east / southeast of the former MGP and adjacent to Lake Michigan. The property is approximately 6.2 acres and consists of buildings and parking lots.
  • Elgin, Joliet and Eastern (EJ&E) – refers to the railroad tracks and right-of-way (ROW) located east and at the south end of the former MGP. This parcel is approximately 0.7 acres.
  • City of Waukegan (COW) – located southeast of the former MGP between the EJ&E, Akzo, and WPD properties. This property is a vegetated and vacated former city street ROW. This parcel is approximately 0.5 acre. Other COW property investigated includes nearby roads and associated ROWs.

MGPs were industrial facilities that produced gas from coal, oil and other feedstocks. The site is not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) but is considered to be an NPL-caliber site and is being addressed through the Superfund Alternative Approach.

Status: In July 2015, the EPA issued an Interim Record of Decision (ROD) (56 pp, 13.29 MB) Interim Record of Decision (ROD) for remedial action, which announced the selected remedy that the EPA chose to address the DNAPL that is in the groundwater of the site.

In October 2015 an agreement (114 pp, 4.32 MB) between the U.S. EPA and North Shore Gas went into effect on the design of the DNAPL remedy, which is currently ongoing.

In February 2017, an agreement (177 pp, 13.31 MB) between U.S. EPA, the State of Illinois and North Shore Gas went into effect on construction of the DNAPL remedy, which is expected to begin later in 2018 after the remedy design has been completed.

Extended Area of Concern


The following status summary is provided by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund website (See the complete EPA summary)

History: The Johns-Manville site is a 150-acre asbestos disposal area in Waukegan, Illinois. About 3 million cubic yards of off-specification products and wastewater sludge were disposed of at the site. Johns-Manville ceased operations on site in the summer of 1998. All former manufacturing buildings were demolished in 2000-2001. Asbestos is the primary contaminant of concern. Following an extensive cleanup, sampling identified seven additional areas of asbestos contamination outside of the Johns-Manville fence line. Cleanup of these areas as well as groundwater monitoring are ongoing.

Status: At the Industrial Canal, final contouring has been completed. Test plot seeding has been started in consultation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The banks in the Borrow Pit and Settling Basin areas have been stabilized. Site roads have been improved significantly since April 2016.

For Sites 3 and 6 along Greenwood Avenue, North Shore Gas (NSG) and Meade have completed their work of safely decommissioning valves and gas mains. The excavation was backfilled, dewatering ceased and the crane mat road removed. NSG is still working on two eastern excavations which should be completed in July 2016. Asbestos-containing material is being picked up and deposited in the on-site consolidation area.

Under the Illinois EPA’s Site Remediation Program fill material was brought to the former manufacturing area of the site from the stockpile at the adjacent NRG, Inc. facility.  The fill was thought to be clean based upon sampling data, however, tires, potential asbestos containing material and other debris were later found in the fill. Johns-Manville has been working to remove and properly dispose of the debris.

EPA is waiting for a response from IDNR about the next steps for a remedy at OU 06, also known as Site 1 or the Nature Preserve Road. The concern at OU 06 is that asbestos-containing material is still visible at the surface – after the last pickup of ACM in April 2015 in this environmentally-sensitive area – and a remedy has not been proposed to the public.

View Site On EPA Map

North Shore Gas North Plant

The following status summary is provided by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund website (See the complete EPA summary)

History: The 16-acre North Shore Gas North Plant former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site is located in Waukegan, Illinois, at the intersection of Pershing and Dahringer Roads. The site has been contaminated with MGP residuals from historical plant operations. Previous EPA actions in the 1990s and in 2013 addressed the most egregious sources of contamination.  Site investigation and ground water monitoring are ongoing to characterize the remaining contamination at the site. The site is not listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) but is considered to be an NPL-caliber site and is being addressed through the Superfund Alternative Approach.

Status: North Shore Gas is completing an investigation of the site contamination under the 2007 EPA order (82 pp, 6.72 MB). The investigation is being conducted in accordance with EPA’s Superfund cleanup process, using an approved work plan (146 pp, 182.93 MB) under the 2007 EPA order. The work is expected to be completed in 2018, with the results described in a remedial investigation (RI) report that will be submitted to EPA for review and approval in late 2018 or 2019. Following submittal of the RI report, a feasibility study (FS) describing the various cleanup plans to address unacceptable risks posed by remaining site contaminants, if there are any, will be submitted to EPA for review and approval. Following approvals of the RI and FS reports, EPA will propose its preferred cleanup plan for public comment. Based on responses it receives during the comment period on its proposed plan, EPA will issue a decision on final cleanup plan.

Yeoman Creek Landfill

The following status summary is provided by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund website (See the complete EPA summary)

History :  The 70-acre Yeoman Creek Landfill site is located in Waukegan, Illinois. A landfill operated on site from 1959 to 1969. The landfill has no bottom liner and the underlying soils are permeable. Polluted liquid from the landfill contains chemicals, elevated concentrations of metals and ammonia. Landfill gas was detected migrating off site. The site’s long-term remedy is in place. Study of landfill gas migration and groundwater monitoring are ongoing.

EPA is the lead agency in partnership with Illinois EPA overseeing the potentially responsible parties’ (PRPs’) cleanup of the site.

EPA has conducted several five-year reviews of the remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. Most issues identified during the 2007 five-year review have been addressed. The PRPs completed construction of a new perimeter trench gas collection system as well as drainage system improvements, grading and seeding in 2009. However, landfill gas on the northern portion adjacent to the site continues to be a problem and is being studied. Groundwater monitoring is ongoing.

Status: The site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term phase focused on cleanup of the entire site. In 1980, the city upgraded the site cover in most areas of the landfill. The site’s potentially responsible parties fenced the site in 1990 and installed a ventilation system in a building next to the site in 1994. EPA selected the site’s long-term remedy in 1996. It included sediment collection in Yeoman Creek and limited wetland areas, reconstruction of Yeoman Creek, a flexible landfill cover, continuation of measures to address landfill gas, waste consolidation and extensive long-term monitoring. Remedy construction took place from 2002 to 2005.

View Site On EPA Map